It was a long ass travel day to get from D&D brewery to Leon consisting of 3 chicken buses, 2 Taxis, a shitty ass shuttle and a bike rikshaw thing. It was half the price of getting a tourist shuttle though and probably took the same amount of time. We really didn’t get up to much our first day in Leon as everyone was still exhausted from the trip and poor Katie had this horrible rash that was so itchy! She ended up having this rash for weeks and went to several Drs but still have no idea what it was. The first Dr. We went to spoke no english so with my broken spanish and lots of miming we struggled to get the message accross. She ended up getting some anti histamines and a booty shot in the back of a pharamacy which looked super dodgy that didn’t really do anything for her.
Leon isn’t the nicest of cities. It is like a really shit Antigua. We walked around a bit but there wasn’t too much to see. Just the church and the main square. You can climb onto the roof of the church there which is pretty cool but so bloody hot! It’s all white and you kinda feel like you are in Santorini.
The roof of the church
The main reason everyeone comes to Leon is to go volcano boarding. There is a really young volcano called Cerro Negro which is still covered in ash from its last eruption. Everyone I had met along the way had mentioned the volcano boarding but no one really mentioned the walk up! It is around an hours hike up the side of a volcano carrying your stupid board. I was having flashbacks to Acatanengo.
Rach and I before the climb
I don’t think anyone realised quite how steep it was going to be. It was a good 40 – 45 degree angle. We were all shitting ourselves. We got dressed in our sexy overalls which made us look like we were in some kind of aussie olympic team/ a 90s rap group. Thankfully Rach decided she was going to go first as none of us were putting our hands up. Right as she was about to go a massive cloud rolled in and we couldn’t see anything making it 100 times more scary! We waited for a little but it didn’t seem to be clearing so off she went. Sadly/thankfully for her we didn’t get to see her stack it.
Rach sliding into the unknown…
Rach filmed her whole trip down and it’s the funniest thing I have ever seen. She looks petrified but is yelling WoooooHooooo the entire way. At 1 point she bounces off of her board changing the comentary a little which just adds to the video (Rach is the most aussie sounding person I have ever met). Thankfully the clouds had cleared by the time it was my go. I was pretty scared as I am quite accident prone. The start was pretty easy and I wasn’t going to fast. I was thinking to myself I got this!! Then it suddenly got steeper. I forgot the instructions on how to straighten up and then hit a massive bump and bounced off my board. I got the board back and then took off again but 2 mins later my board went totally crooked and I fully flipped off it rolling down the hill. It didn’t hurt thankfully and Rach had filmed the whole thing so we were both in hysterics. I then had to try and get my board back which was a bitch as it was way too steep to walk back up. Thankfully it started to slide and I managed to grab it then slid to the bottom of the hill. It was so much fun and I def would do it again if I didn’t have to walk back up.
Aussie aussie aussie!!
I don’t know what it is about Central America but it feels like it is full of female backpackers! Don’t get me wrong I love that girls are getting out there and traveling but where did all the boys go? The ratio seems to be 70% girls 30% boys! Its never great having such an uneven balance… I need to get out of this estrogen filled country and find some guys!! I do realise I sound like a boy crazed 15 year old but I don’t care!!
After 3 days and a massage I had finally recovered from the hell that was acatenango! We were in San Something on lake Atitlan staying at las iguanas hostel. It was a pretty chilled out hippie hostel. There wasn’t much to the town besides the hostel and then a school and a few houses up a massive hill. Our room had no power and didn’t really have walls. I thought we were going to be eaten alive by mosquitos but it was really cold so it didn’t end up being a problem.
It was one of these hostels that had communal dinners every night and yoga in the morning (I never joined in on the yoga…). On our first full day at the lake we signed up for a weaving class. It was only supposed to be for a few hours as we were only making a belt. The class was up in town in a local womans house. It was awesome! Mainly just to see how they lived and to realise how frikin hard it was to make even just a simple belt with weaving! We were there with 2 girls from America called Alison and Mindy. Alison was this awesome lady that taught english to spanish immigrants in Chicago. She was histerical and terrible at weaving. The class ended up taking way longer then expected, as we all sucked and constantly needed help. In the end we all gave up as our backs were killing us and I was right next to the fire/oven so I was roasting! Thankfully the teacher finished off our belts for us and brought them to the hostel the next day.
Not too sure about this weaving….
Weaving was way harder then it looks!
Sunday was market day in ChiChi (it has a longer name that I have no idea how to spell but everyone calls it chichi) and wr had been wanting to go since we had heard about it in flores. We decided to take the chicken buses as everyone kept going on about them and we weren’t willing to try it out for a longer journey. Chicken buses are the public transport throughout central america and are old American school busses that have all been on an episode of pimp my ride. It was insanely uncomfortable. We had to get 3 buses to get from the lake to ChiChi. They cram 3 people on those tiny seats so you are basically sitting in the aisle. I don’t know why but central american roads are packed with speed bumps which are so unnecessary as the roads are crap. You will be going up the side of a mountain at 10 km/hr and there will be a speed bump. Speed bumps on a chicken bus are awful!! To top it off on our 3rd bus we had a live infomercial. I’m still not sure what this guy was selling but apparently it was some tablet that fixed everything. It gave you energy, and helped with memory and prevented aging. It really didn’t seem like anyone was paying attention and Alison and I were pulling the piss out of it the whole time. Finaly after what seemed like a lifetime he handed the magic pills oit for everyone to look at and then people started buying them! We couldn’t belive it. Granted we didn’t understand most of what he was saying but it seemed like a massive joke but the people on the bus were loving it! In total the trip took us over an hour. I’m not sure how much money we saved but it was definitely an experience.
Cramed on the chicken bus
The market itself was amazing! I was in retail heaven. It was everything I love. All boho tapestry things. I could have bought at least 50 bags. Thankfully I didn’t bring my card so I was limited to the cash I had otherwise I think I would have bought everything! I ended up buying a funky jacket, a dress and a wall tapestry thing. All in all it was a sucessful day 🙂
One of the amazing market stalls
We probably could have spent another day on the lake and checked out some other little villages around the place but we decided to head back to antigua as I had it in my head that I needed to leave soon for utila. The lake was absolutely stunning though and an awesome place to relax .
Sunset on the lake